53 minutes | Dec 28, 2021
TBC: What We Actually Read, 2021!
Our year-end survey. What the hell did we read in 2021??? Books mentioned: Run, Don’t Walk: The Listening House, Mabel Seeley; Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker; Piranesi, Susanna Clarke; Intimacies, Katie Kitamura; Visitation, Jenny Erpenbeck; Native Speaker, Chang-rae Lee; Thumbs Up: The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz; The Copenhagen Trilogy, Tove Ditlevsen; To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, Christopher Paolini; The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin; Secondhand Time, Svetlana Alexievich; Clockwork Boys, The Wonder Engine, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher; My Year Abroad, Chang-rae Lee; No One is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood; Matrix, Lauren Groff; Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, David Grann; Under the Whispering Door, The House in the Cerulean Sea, TJ Klune; A Separation, Katie Kitamura; The 10,000 Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Süskind; Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen; Billion Dollar Loser, Reeves Wiedeman. Thumbs Down: A Man of Parts, David Lodge; The Midnight Library, Matt Haig; The Decagon House Murders, Yukito Ayatsuji; Little, Big, John Crowley; Pumped to Read: Klara and The Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro; To Paradise, Hanya Yanagihara; Leviathan Falls, James S.A. Corey; The Enchanted April, Elizabeth von Arnim; The Hare, Melanie Finn; Small Pleasures, Clare Chambers; Maggie Hope Series, Susan Elia MacNeal. Articles and Links: Tweet Thread on Anne Rice Jenny Erpenbeck Profile (New Yorker) (Sigh) Bad Art Friend (NYT Magazine) Jeremy Strong Profile (New Yorker) Review of Yanigihara's To Paradise (Harpers) 100 Notable Books of 2021 (NYT) Joan Didion Archive at the New York Review of Books Sign up for Molly Young’s books newsletter here (NYT)
53 minutes | Dec 18, 2021
RIP Eve Babitz (Rebroadcast: Bicoastal Season, Episode 3)
RIP Eve Babitz. Here's our episode on her from September 2020. Books mentioned: Eve’s Hollywood, Slow Days Fast Company, Sex & Rage, L.A. Woman, I Used to Be Charming, Eve Babitz; Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A, Lili Anolik; Catch-22, Joseph Heller; The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West; Play It as It Lays, Joan Didion; Essays, Michel de Montaigne; Paradise Lost, John Milton;Priestdaddy, Patricia Lockwood; Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney; How Should a Person Be?, Sheila Heti; Trick Mirror, Jia Tolentino. Resources: All About Eve--And Then Some (Lili Anolik, Vanity Fair) Eve Babitz is Better Than Ever (OLIVIA AYLMER, Vanity Fair) Jia Tolentino on Eve (New Yorker) The Eve Babtiz Revival (Penelope Green, NYT) My Favorite Year: In Los Angeles with Eve Babitz in 1971 (Dan Wakefield, LA Review of Books) Eve Babitz’s Vision of Total Freedom (Marie Solis, The Nation) L.A. Confidential (Holly Brubach, NYT Style Magazine) Germans in L.A. (Alex Ross, New Yorker)
51 minutes | Dec 12, 2021
RIP Anne Rice (Rebroadcast: Season 2, Episode 1)
Re-releasing this episode in tribute to our vampire queen! RIP, Anne. Books mentioned: The Witching Hour and Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice; Dracula by Bram Stoker. Of interest: Amazon reviews, Guardian Q & A, Anne’s Youtube Channel, Anne’s opinion on editors. Email us at email@example.com. Don’t forget to friend us on Goodreads and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
55 minutes | Nov 9, 2021
Ayn Rand Pt. 2 (Pseudonym Season, Episode 6)
In Part 2 of our Rand investigation (our season finale!), we visit Galt’s Gulch and figure out what the deal is with Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. What's Ayn Rand’s favorite color??? Go on, guess. Resources: Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged Anne C. Heller, Ayn Rand and the World She Made (2009) Jennifer Burns, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (2009) The Whitaker Chambers on Atlas Shrugged in the National Review
70 minutes | Nov 2, 2021
Ayn Rand, Pt. 1 (Pseudonym Season, Episode 5)
In part one of our (first ever!) two-episode investigation, we tackle the surprisingly irrational life of Ayn Rand, the polarizing capitalist whose legal name was Alice O’Connor, and who was born Alissa Zionvievna Rosenbaum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. What. A. Ride. Resources: Anne C. Heller, Ayn Rand and the World She Made (2009) Jennifer Burns, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (2009) Thomas Mallon, “Possessed,” New Yorker
54 minutes | Oct 26, 2021
Stephen King/Richard Bachman (Pseudonym Season, Episode 4)
The man who launched a thousand screams and his alter-ego who launched a thousand "wait, who?"s. It’s Stephen King/Richard Bachman day! Happy scary season, everyone! King books mentioned: On Writing, The Shining, Carrie, Needful Things, Salem’s Lot, Misery. Bachman books mentioned: The Long Walk, The Regulators.
57 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
Nancy Drew/The Hardy Boys (Pseudonym Season, Episode 3)
A dive into the hiveminds behind Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. We raise questions like: what do The Hardy Boys eat? Does Nancy = feminism? And what counts as a clue? Resources: Nancy Drew’s Father, The New Yorker, Meghan O’Rourke Rewriting the Past in Children's Literature: The Hardy Boys an Other Series, Robert L. Crawford (academic article) Books mentioned: Franklin W. Dixon, While the Clock Ticked; Carolyn Keene, Mystery of Crocodile Island; Bobbie Ann Mason, The Girl Sleuth; Melanie Rehak, Girl Sleuth. Series mentioned: The Rover Boys, Tom Swift, Outdoor Girls, The Bobbsey Twins, The Boxcar Children, The Baby-Sitter’s Club, The Bailey School Kids, Choose Your Own Adventure, Animorphs, Sweet Valley High, Trixie Belden, as well as non-collective fiction series Goosebumps, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games & Twilight.
55 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr. (Pseudonym Season, Episode 2)
One of the most extraordinary pen name tales. Sci-fi savant James Tiptree Jr. had accolades, admirers and many, many pen pals. Problem was, he didn't exist. James Tiptree Jr. stories discussed in this episode: The Last Flight of Dr. Ain The Women Men Don’t See Books mentioned: James Tiptree Jr., Her Smoke Rose Up Forever Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon
45 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Stacey Abrams/Selena Montgomery (Pseudonym Season, Episode 1)
Our Pseudonym Season kicks off with a look into political miracle-worker Stacey Abrams' other life as romance author Selena Montgomery. Books Mentioned: Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps. Selena Montgomery, Secrets and Lies; Deception. Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Callista Gingrich, Sweet Land of Liberty. Next week’s James Tiptree Jr. story: The Women Men Don't See
36 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
TBC: The Snarkroom of Damocles (& Season Preview!)
Michael and Hannah gossip about books + preview their upcoming Pseudonym Season! We’re thrilled to be back in your ears! Articles and newsletters mentioned: Hermans and Le Carré (The Guardian) The Great Gatsby Glut (NYT) Read Like the Wind (Vulture) The State of the Literary Jonathans (Vanity Fair) Books mentioned: John Le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Willem Frederik Hermans, The Darkroom of Damocles Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea Elena Ferrante, The Lying Lives of Adults Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies; Matrix Yukito Ayatsuji, The Decagon House Murders. Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet Lee Mandelo, Summer Sons Rivka Galchen, Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch Jonathan Franzen, Crossroads; Purity; The Corrections
43 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
TBC: What We Actually Read, 2020!
What we read in this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Books: The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett; Field Work, Mischa Berlinski; I Remember You, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir; Kindred, Octavia Butler; The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton; This is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone; Cleanness, Garth Greenwell; The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Suzanne Collins; Red Rising trilogy, Pierce Brown; The House in the Cerulean Sea, T.J. Klune; An Extraordinary Union, Alyssa Cole; Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, Svetlana Alexievich; Hamnet, Maggie O'Farrell; Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life, Nina Stibbe; The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt; Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern, Francine Prose; The Sally Lockhart series, Phillip Pullman; Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Gifted School, Bruce Holsinger; The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again, M. John Harrison; Uncanny Valley: A Memoir, Anna Wiener; Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia; The Great Fire, Shirley Hazzard; The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin. Articles: John le Carré obit (NYT) Barbara Cartland (Jezebel) 👎Joseph Epstein on Dr. Jill (WSJ) 👎 Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Friend us on Goodreads and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
36 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
TBC: A Tween's Guide to Greek Tragedy
Some classic segments today! A brief season wrap-up leads into a To the WHAThouse?!?™️ on Aeschylus’s The Oresteia and Michael’s (too) early introduction to it. Then a Tackle That Stackle™️hack for your e-reader. Then What Hannah is Actually Reading™️ and what Michael isn’t, because he’s a deadbeat. Books mentioned: Aeschylus, The Oresteia; Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half; Kiley Reid, Such a Fun Age; Samantha Irby, Wow No Thank You; André Leon Talley, The Chiffon Trenches; Carolyn Durand & Omid Scobie, Finding Freedom; N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became.
54 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
Edith Wharton (Bicoastal Season, Episode 8)
In our final episode of the season, we’re in New York City with one of the greats, Edith Wharton and her novel The Custom of the Country. We talk being frenemies with Henry James, half-assed ghosts, and why TCotC is a straight-up bop. Books Mentioned: Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome, The Reef; Hermione Lee, Edith Wharton. Resources: Dearest Edith (1929 New Yorker profile) Edith Wharton - Hermione Lee - Books - Review (Claire Messud, NYT) REWORKING WHARTON (John Updike, New Yorker) A Rooting Interest (Jonathan Franzen, New Yorker) The Jia Treatment (Jia Tolentino, New Yorker) Edith Wharton's Houses (Alexandra Lange, New Yorker) Ghost Tour of the Mount (J. Nicole Jones, Paris Review) Ghost Hunters (Full ep) Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, and a Case of Anxiety of Influence (John Colapinto, New Yorker)
62 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
L.A. Noir (Bicoastal Season, Episode 7)
Just as the sun shines on that temperate den of vice known as Los Angeles, we shine our (private) eye(s) on noir fiction set in L.A., with authors James M. Cain and Walter Mosley. Taking bets on which one of us takes this as their cue to do a 10-minute monologue on Barbara Stanwyck. Books mentioned: James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce; Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress; Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep; Michael Connelly, the Bosch series; James Ellroy, The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential; Sue Grafton, The Alphabet Series; Dorothy B. Hughes, In a Lonely Place; Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl; Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men; A.J. Finn, The Woman in the Window; Megan Abbot, You Will Know Me; Stieg Larsson, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Jo Nesbø, The Snowman; Vincent Bugliosi, Helter Skelter. Films mentioned: In a Lonely Place, The Big Sleep, Detour, Criss Cross, The Big Heat, Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Devil in a Blue Dress. Resources: 20 Essential LA Noirs (LA Times) Megan Abbot on Hardboiled and Noir (Lithub) Otto Penzler on Noir (Huffpost) Chris Eggersten on LA Noir (Curbed) Richard Brody on Film Noir (New Yorker) James M. Cain Interview (Paris Review) On James M. Cain (The Guardian) Paradise (essay) by James M. Cain (LA Times) James M. Cain obituary (NYT). Roger Ebert on Double Indemnity and Devil in a Blue Dress (Rogerebert.com) Walter Mosley on Fresh Air (NPR), By the Book (NYT), Interview (New York Magazine) Barabara Stanwyck obituary (NYT) Email us at email@example.com. Friend us on Goodreads and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
59 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
The Bonfire of the Vanities (Bicoastal Season, Episode 6)
Y’all might have to down some redbull (+ vodka) to keep up with vanilla suit connoisseur Tom Wolfe and his eighties brick, The Bonfire of the Vanities. It is, let’s say, equal parts energetic and problematic. We get into why, then do a juicy dive on the misguided movie adaptation starring, bewilderingly, Tom Hanks. Books mentioned: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, A Man in Full & I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe; Furious Hours, Casey Cep; Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand; I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara; The Devil’s Candy, Julie Salamon. A bonfire of sources: Tom Wolfe Obit (NYT) Retrospective on BoV (NYT) Wolfe on Fresh Air (NPR) Joseph Epstein on BoV (New Criterion) Louis Menand, Adam Gopnik and Paul Elie on Wolfe (New Yorker) BoV Movie Trailer Piece on The Devil’s Candy (LA Times) As always, Patricia Lockwood on Updike (LRB) Chuckle-slinger
55 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
Celebrity Memoirs: Jessica Simpson (Bicoastal Season, Episode 5)
Inspired by this New York Times interview by Lindsay Mannering, we dive headfirst into Jessica Simpson’s memoir Open Book. Join us as we travel back in time to the early aughts, when jean waistlines were low, cargo pants were plentiful, and Jessica reigned supreme (behind Britney and Xtina). Further Reading: Open Book reviews: New Yorker, LA Times, Washington Post. Vintage Dlisted on Papa Joe Simpson. Music used (links to videos for your viewing pleasure/pain): Sinking Sand, With You, I Wanna Love You Forever, I Think I’m in Love & Remember That by Jessica Simpson. Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche), I Do (Cherish You) by 98 Degrees. Pieces of Me by Ashlee Simpson Clips: Mickey Mouse Club audition nightmare Nick and Jessica on Oprah Chicken of the Sea Newlyweds episode part one, part two Drunk on Ellen Misc. Jessica Simpson Collection jeggings Jessica's house
53 minutes | Sep 22, 2020
Celebrity Memoirs: RuPaul (Bicoastal Season, Episode 4)
If you don’t love our pod, how in the *hell* are you gonna love somebody else? ...Did we get that right??? Queen, multi-hyphenate, fracker: RuPaul André Charles does it all in today’s ep. Can we get an amen?? Books Mentioned: Lettin’ it All Hang Out, Workin' It: RuPaul's Guide to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Style, GuRu, all by RuPaul. Resources: How RuPaul Ups the Ante for Drag (NYT, 1993) At Lunch With RuPaul (NYT, 2011) Cover Story: RuPaul on Drag Race’s Future, His Next Great Reinvention, and Why True Drag Will Never Be Mainstream (Vanity Fair, 2019) For RuPaul, A Second Act with 'Drag Race' (NYT, 2011) RuPaul on his New Netflix Show, Camp, and Having an Open Marriage (Vogue, 2019) How RuPaul Became America's Sweetheart (Rolling Stone, 2013) RuPaul's Recipe For Success? Love Yourself And Stay Flexible (NPR, 2020) Is This the Golden Age of Drag? Yes. And No. (NYT, 2018) Videos Arsenio Hall Interview, 1993 Arsenio Hall 1993 Cher on Ru's 90's Talk Show Bizarre skits with Michelle Visage from 90s show On Oprah in 1995 10-min biography video Long (1-hr-plus) interview at LAPL talks about NY vs LA after 2:10 Vanity Fair Personal Questions 2019: Describes current drag style early in video A bit about his husband and their meet cute Very weird picnic anecdote “This is magic” Casual mention of 4:30am walk 80’s drag in NYC at about 10:30 Supermodel video
53 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
Eve Babitz: L.A. Woman (Bicoastal Season, Episode 3)
This week: uber L.A. woman Eve Babitz. How do you talk about a woman who knew everyone and did everything there is to do?? We give it a shot--covering her life, her work, and her recent revival on #bookstagram. Books mentioned: Eve’s Hollywood, Slow Days Fast Company, Sex & Rage, L.A. Woman, I Used to Be Charming, Eve Babitz; Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A, Lili Anolik; Catch-22, Joseph Heller; The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West; Play It as It Lays, Joan Didion; Essays, Michel de Montaigne; Paradise Lost, John Milton; Priestdaddy, Patricia Lockwood; Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney; How Should a Person Be?, Sheila Heti; Trick Mirror, Jia Tolentino. Resources: All About Eve--And Then Some (Lili Anolik, Vanity Fair) Eve Babitz is Better Than Ever (OLIVIA AYLMER, Vanity Fair) Jia Tolentino on Eve (New Yorker) The Eve Babtiz Revival (Penelope Green, NYT) My Favorite Year: In Los Angeles with Eve Babitz in 1971 (Dan Wakefield, LA Review of Books) Eve Babitz’s Vision of Total Freedom (Marie Solis, The Nation) L.A. Confidential (Holly Brubach, NYT Style Magazine) Germans in L.A. (Alex Ross, New Yorker) Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Friend us on Goodreads and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and check out our website.
53 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
The Harlem Renaissance (Bicoastal Season, Episode 2)
Hannah and Michael travel back to early 20th-century New York and learn about two so-called “forgotten women” of the Harlem Renaissance. This one’s a remedial education! Books Mentioned: Passing, Nella Larsen; Plum Bun, Jessie Redmon Fauset; The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson; Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston; The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett; Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, James Weldon Johnson; Black No More, George Schuyler. Other Podcasts on the HR: 15 Minute History History of Color On Nella Larsen: Nella Larsen Wrestled With Race and Sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance ON WRITERS AND WRITING; Authentic American Two Classic American Novels About the Madness and Beauty of Race George Hutchinson's Biography On Jessie Redmon Fauset The Forgotten Work of Jessie Redmon Fauset https://jessiefauset-blog.tumblr.com About Jessie Redmon Fauset | Academy of American Poets The Story of Jessie Redmon Fauset Jessie R. Fauset (1882-1961) • Audio featured in this episode: Duke Ellington, “Take the A Train” Ma Rainey, “Ma and Pa Poorhouse Blues” Marcus Garvey in 1921 Bessie Smith, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” Citation from George Hutchinson from intro to this volume: Hutchinson, G. (Ed.). (2007). The Cambridge Companion to the Harlem Renaissance (Cambridge Companions to Literature). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gradisek and Scott article: Gradisek, Amanda, and Ron Scott. "Reconceiving and Redeeming the Self: Passing, the Harlem Renaissance, and Zombies." Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, vol. 17, no. 2, 2017. Email us at email@example.com. Friend us on Goodreads and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
54 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Shopping & F*cking (Bicoastal Season, Episode 1)
We kick off our bicoastal NY/LA season with Judith Krantz’s genre-defining 1978 novel Scruples. WARNING: not for the kiddos! Judith had a filthy mind, so this ep is definitely NC-17. Judith Obits: NYT, The Guardian, Economist, Bloomberg. Clive James review in the LRB. Clips: 80s miniseries, ABC Pilot Trailer. Books mentioned: Rita Felsky, Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Friend us on Goodreads and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.